George A. Hurst

Spatial Fidelity of Wild Turkeys Between the Seasons in Central Mississippi

Understanding space use patterns of wildlife may be useful to spatially plan habitat management options and understand how species use resources on a landscape. Spatial fidelity can be defined as the tendency of an animal to maintain similar space use patterns among periods of interest and can be described in terms of differences in dispersion of points and shift in central tendency. However, little information is available concerning spatial fidelity in wild turkeys (Meleagris gallopavo). Therefore, we investigated seasonal spatial fidelity of male and female eastern wild turkeys (M. g....

Year
2001

Habitat Characteristics of Wild Turkey Nest Sites in Central Mississippi

Nest success strongly influences wild turkey (Meleagris gallopavo) reproduction. Understanding selection of nesting habitats may provide information for management opportunities to increase turkey nest success. Therefore, we examined the landscape scale habitat selection of wild turkey hens during nesting. A logistic regression model with 89 nest locations and 89 random locations indicated an intercept term, elevation, and distances to mature pine burned ≤3 years ago and mature pine not burned within 3 years differed significantly (P<0.04) between used and random sites. Nest success was...

Year
1999

Seasonal Home Ranges of Wild Turkeys in Central Mississippi

Home range size is an important component of wild turkey (Meleagris gallopavo) ecology. We estimated 95% convex polygon home ranges for gobblers and hens within biological seasons in central Mississippi. Mean home range size of gobblers (N = 97) varied from 607.1 ha (subadults during spring) to 809.9 ha (subadults during fall/winter). Mean home range size of hens (N = 127) varied from 97.2 ha (early brood) to 541.9 ha (fall/winter). Male home range size did not differ among seasons (P >0.05). However, gobblers tended to have larger home range sizes than hens, which likely reflected...

Year
1997

Illegal Turkey Hunting in Mississippi

Wild turkey (Meleagris gallopavo) hunting has gained popularity as turkey populations have risen. Consequently, there is a greater chance that illegal turkey hunting will impact turkey populations. Our objectives were to determine the extent of illegal turkey hunting in Mississippi and identify potential violators. We conducted a mail survey of turkey hunters (N = 4,026) who hunted in Mississippi during the 1994 spring gobbler-only season. A response rate of 55% was obtained. Logistic regression analysis was used to predict the probability of a hunter violating a regulation. We entered 20...

Year
1997

Factors Affecting Gobbling Activity of Wild Turkeys in Central Mississippi

Call counts for a number of gamebirds (e.g., northern bobwhite [Colinus virginianus] and wild turkey [Meleagris gallopavo]) have been used to index population levels and trends and to document species presence or absence. Call counts for wild turkeys have been used for these purposes, but gobbling activity has not been related quantitatively to population size, reproduction, weather, male age structure, or hunting variables. Consequently, we examined these factors as they affected gobbling activity on Tallahala Wildlife Management Area, Bienville National Forest, in central Mississippi,...

Year
1997

Economic Impact and Associated Values of the Wild Turkey in Mississippi

The wild turkey (Meleagris gallopavo) has ecological, aesthetic, recreational, and economic values. Gross expenditures of hunters have been used to estimate economic value of game species. We examined the economic impact and associated values of the wild turkey in Mississippi. Expenditures of wild turkey hunters were obtained from a mail survey (N = 2,143, 69.6% response to economic section) and were used in an input-output model to determine economic impacts for the state. There were 39,775 hunters engaged in 334,856 activity-days in 1993. Wild turkey hunters spent an estimated $14.8...

Year
1997

Characteristics and Attitudes of Wild Turkey Hunters in Mississippi

Wildlife management is the interaction of wildlife populations, habitats, and people. The eastern wild turkey (Meleagris gallopavo silvestris) is an important wildlife resource. However, quantitative data on the human dimensions of wild turkey management are scarce. Therefore, we surveyed 2,143 Mississippi turkey hunters by mail to determine characteristics of this group, examine attitudes towards regulations and management issues, and determine how hunter characteristics influenced attitudes. We received responses from 1,524 participants (71.1%). The average respondent was male, a...

Year
1997

Calculating Probability of Site Use, Study Area Size, and Density of Wild Turkey Hens

Most researchers arbitrarily delineate study areas even though a quantitative estimate of study area size can be generated from capture and subsequent locations of radio-equipped animals. Arbitrary delineation may result in biased estimates of density. Density is often determined with capture-mark-recapture designs that do not include locational data from radio-equipped animals. We used logistic regression to determine probability of recapture of radio-equipped wild turkey (Meleagris gallopavo) hens based on pre-sample distances from bait sites for hens using and not using baited sites. We...

Year
1997

Wild Turkey Gobbler Habitat Use and Home Range in Loblolly Pine Plantations

We studied wild turkey (Meleagris gallopavo) gobbler habitat use and seasonal home range size by radio telemetry in an area dominated (45%) by loblolly pine (Pinus taeda) plantations (PP) in Kemper County, Mississippi, 1986-1988. In 1986, gobbler habitat use was more than expected for PP (fall) and pine-hardwood forests (spring). Use was less than expected for pine-hardwood forests (fall) and fields (summer). Use was as expected for PP, pine-hardwood, and hardwood forests and fields for the other seasons. In 1987, PP were used less than expected for all seasons. Use was more than expected...

Year
1991

Survival Rates of Radio-equipped Wild Turkey Gobblers in East-central Mississippi

Wildlife Outstanding Technical Paper

Seasonal and annual survival rates were determined for 130 radio-equipped eastern wild turkey (Meleagris gallopavo silvestris) gobblers on Tallabala Wildlife Management Area, Mississippi, 1986-90. Annual survival rates varied from 0.390.54. Spring gobbler hunting (SGH) season survival rates within a year and annual survival rates for that year did not differ (P > 0.10). SGH survival rates were significantly lower than all other periods within each year, and no other differences were detected within years. Our data suggest that mortality during SGH season had a significant affect on...

Year
1991